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Meredith Broadcast Revenue Up 23%

Meredith Local Media Group reported fiscal fourth quarter revenue of $77 million, up 23% from the previous fiscal year's fourth quarter. Operating profit for the quarter was $21 million, way up from the $292 million loss Local Media reported the year before.

Retransmission consent revenue rose 16% in the fiscal fourth, and more than 40% for the fiscal year.

Six of the 10 Meredith stations grew revenue from the prior year.

Chairman/CEO Stephen Lacey said the company is in strong shape. "Fiscal 2010 marked a return to earnings growth as we strengthened our business across the board," he said. "We increased advertising market share in both magazine and television, grew the size of our consumer audiences, and generated higher sales of our licensed products at retail. Additionally, we made important investments in new media platforms including mobile and eTablets."

Meredith said the ad picture nonetheless looks a bit cloudy in the near term, though political advertising will be a boon.

The company "continues to face a volatile advertising environment impacted by the uncertain economic climate," it said in its earnings release. But Meredith "expects to benefit from an estimated $25 to $30 million of net political advertising revenues at its television stations, with the majority being booked in the second quarter of fiscal 2011."

Meredith generated $9 million of net political advertising in fiscal 2010.

The company owns a wide array of magazines geared toward women, in addition to its 10 stations and Meredith Video Studios.

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.